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Last weekend, the Canberra Bonsai Society held its annual show. With the ‘retirement’ of the previous show manager, this year there was an ‘all new’ show committee, layout and backing material. Along with our regular potter Pat Kennedy, there was also new traders.

Shibui Bonsai

Silverhills Bonsai

I even managed to sell some stock trees, wire, Boon care DVDs, Akadama, and Kanuma.

The members of the public, traders, and CBS members all seemed to agree that it was a great success.

The people’s choice award went to a very captivating azalea in FULL flower, a little bit of a contentious issue for some, but the public voted!

It is a club tradition to display the previous year’s winner of the People’s choice award in a tokonoma at each show. It will be an interesting display next year, should the tree not be in full bloom.

The guest demonstrator’s award this year was presented by Megumi Bennett. Megumi decided to give this award to a Banksia Integrafolia, definitely one of the best Banksia Bonsai in Australia.

Megumi’s demonstration was on Shimpaku – Megumi went into great detail about the history of Shimpaku, and care advice. Megumi suggested that for tired looking trees, to include some lime on the soil surface. I hadn’t heard this before so am interested to hear your thoughts?



Megumi was “assisted” by Grant Bowie, the interim curator of the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia (NBPCA), and he did an excellent job, even though he seemed extremely tired! The tree will be getting sold at one of the upcoming CBS meetings, if anyone is interested.

None of my trees were quite up to the standard that I wanted, so rather than not participate at all, I did a Sunday afternoon demonstration. Branch refinement on deciduous trees, I used a chinese elem that I purchaed as a little project.

Whilst chatting to some other CBS members it was agreed that it was good to see a showcase of trees belonging to both new and experienced club members, including trees at differing stages of development. To help foster the art of bonsai, particularly at a club level, it is good to let all club members enter their trees. A focus should be put on educating club members in further developing their trees and selecting the best one for the show, rather than refusing to include some people’s trees.

Over the few years that I have been in the CBS, I’ve noticed the great improvement in trees. Trees that I thought were a bit lacking a few years back have greatly improved, and the ones that I thought were great have improved year on year. One of the biggest improvements has been in the branch ramification. It makes me look forward to the next 50 or so years that I have left in bonsai.

Root over rock Trident

Shohin Seiju Elm

GIANT English Oak

Corky Bark Chinese Elm

Thanks to Nev for the use of his pics…my point and shoot was somewhat inadequate!